With gasoline rising to $4 a gallon, is it time to ride the bus?

Mar 8, 2022, 5:10 PM
UTA bus...
FILE: UTA's Opus bus. Credit: Keith Johnson

SALT LAKE CITY — With gasoline prices rising fast, maybe it’s time to explore alternatives to driving a car or truck. A spokesman with the Utah Transit Authority talked about the advantages of riding a public bus or train.

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the U.S. will ban all Russian oil imports, toughening the toll on Russia’s economy in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. national average for a gallon of gasoline topped $4.17 on Tuesday rising by 10 cents in one day and up 55 cents since last week, according to auto club AAA.

Triple-A of Utah reported that, as of Sunday, the average price for a gallon of gas in Utah is $3.83. But in some areas of the state, the cost is as high as $4.25, according to KSL NewsRadio:

Gas prices in Utah vary by location, but you’ll pay more in any case

Rising gasoline prices are fueling inflation, which is at a 40-year peak.

Welcome to the show

Carl Arky of the Utah Transit Authority joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic to talk about alternatives to driving a personal car or truck during the rapid spike in gas prices.

“Carl, I figure it takes me an additional, probably 20 minutes out of my day to take to take the [FrontRunner] train,” Dave Noriega said, adding he saves $200 a month by leaving the car behind. 

“And isn’t a relaxing 20 minutes, instead of sitting in traffic and fighting the traffic?” Arky asked, adding that WiFi is available for riders.

Arky pointed out that Dave is likely saving money on auto insurance, upkeep, and maintenance on the vehicle and parts such as tires and oil.

Get a lift to the bus or train station

 Arky said micro-transit is a popular option offered by UTA to get people from their homes to a bus or train station.

“What is micro-transit and how much does that cost?” Debbie asked.

“They’re nice little vans. They’re about $2.50 a trip. There may be three or four people in the van. We cut back during COVID obviously to protect people,” Arky said. “You walk out of your house and you walk maybe a half block down to the corner, and they’ll pick you up. They’ll take you to a bus station to train station.”

When you complete your trip, the van returns you to your home, Arky said.

Find out more about UTA On Demand.

“You don’t even have to travel on public transportation. They’ll take you somewhere within the service area. Right now we’re doing it at the south end of the valley, on the west side of downtown Salt Lake City and Rose Park,” he said.

“Debbie, I think a lot of people are going to look at that $4.50 a gallon and start thinking, ‘Well, you know what, maybe UTA is the is the answer for me,” Dave said.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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With gasoline rising to $4 a gallon, is it time to ride the bus?